Steve's Beef Bourguignon

(See Braising Tips.) Place large roasting pan on stove top and cover bottom of pan with a thin layer of oil. Season chuck roast heavily with black pepper, granulated garlic, and salt. Brown on all sides over high heat. Remove meat and set aside. Do not clean roasting pan after browning.

Cut potatoes in half (do not peel). Place potatoes in roasting pan cut side down. Brown cut surfaces of the potatoes until dark brown. Remove potatoes and set aside.

Remove skins and ends of onions. Cut off more of the flatter end to create a browning surface. The flat surface of the onion should be slightly smaller than the maximum diameter of the onion so that the inside sections do not separate from the outer layers. Place onions in roasting pan cut side down. Brown cut side of onions over low heat until dark brown. Remove onions and set aside.

Sautee the chopped garlic in the roasting pan. Add 2 bottles of wine, bay leaves, thyme branches, chopped celery, and brown sugar and heat to boiling. Add tomato paste to the liquid and stir until dissolved.

Place browned meat in pan along with onions, potatoes, and carrots. Cut surfaces of vegetable should be facing up. The tops of the onions should protrude slightly above the liquid. The carrots must be submerged. All the potatoes do not have to be submerged if there is not enough room. Add more wine as needed until the liquid comes almost to the top of the meat.

Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 325° for 4½ hours. Once each hour turn the meat over. Add more wine as needed to maintain liquid level just below the top of the meat. This is important since the cooking liquid will keep the meat temperature below 212° which is essential in order to allow the collagen to turn to gelatin. If too much meat is exposed, the temperature of that portion of the meat will exceed 212° and the outside of the roast will become tough and dry (see Braising Tips ). Serves 12.